Library rents books and plant seeds

With physical libraries facing threat from digital alternatives, we’ve seen a number of schemes making efforts to prove the vitality of the community spaces, such as Ljubljana City Library’s surprise book package initiative. Now Basalt Regional Library in Colorado is offering a seed rental scheme on top of its traditional book leasing.

Existing and new users of the library can pick a pack of seeds – whether fruit, vegetable or flower – to grow in their garden. Once the plant has blossomed, its seeds are collected and taken back to the library to be repackaged and lent to another member. Due to the process of natural selection, the seeds from plants that survive contain the qualities of their parent, meaning that the more popular the scheme, the greater the quality of seeds offered by the library. The project also offers a unique way for the library to engage its customers and boost book check-outs. As NPR reports, the American Library Association has initiated several similar programs across the US, indicating its popularity.

While a library may seem like an odd place to launch a project such as this, it serves to reinforce the community spirit that defines a place of public learning. How many other struggling industries could benefit from schemes such as this, bringing neighborhoods together?

Website: www.basaltrld.org
Contact: bmilnor@basaltlibrary.org

Spotted by: Murray Orange

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